Born from the want and need of the Salsa employees for a stiff, super lightweight frame to race on (Team Salsa, anyone? Look for ‘em big time next year!) the Campeon caters to riders who want the lightweight feel of aluminum, but the qualities of a tough steel ride. And boy, does it deliver. Fast, light, and responsive, the frame switches hats when going over sketchy pavement and delivers a smooth, tight, comfortable ride. They say beauty is only skin deep, or perhaps in this case it’s only scandium deep, but the benefits and upsides of this frame run much deeper. The photographic evidence speaks for itself.
The Campeon reflects everything Salsa should be – sweet and spicy; but this comes with a twist as it measures off the scale in the sexy department. Being the only guy in the amatuer Chicagoland racing peloton to own one (to the best of my knowledge), I can’t put a number on how many compliments have come down the pike about this frame in just the four races I’ve entered on it. Sleek lines, traditionally geometry, carbon stays, huge soda pop can down tube, and tasteful yet not overdone paintjob make it hard for one not to comment on it. Just this past Sunday, in a 40 mile road race, after taking an unusually long pull (this bike is like a mustang, it wants to run) the next guy up comes to take his turn at the front, but not before saying “That’s a sweet ride you got there, man.” I hate to say it, but I know.
The Campeon is built from five specific tube sets so the feel of the ride from their smallest 47cm frame is exactly the same as that of their largest 62cm frame. The scandium itself, which is a tricky material to work with, is painstakingly handcrafted in Hodaka, Taiwan, perhaps the best foundry available in the country. Engineers there turn away roughly 30% of the materials submitted to them as inferior, settling only for the best available.
Actual shot of the Campeon at speed. (…excuse the silver spacers, I’m working on it).
As a company, Salsa has been busting out new ideas in the bike world for roughly 20 years (the actual start of the company is a bit “hazy” as Dave Pierce calls it), including being the first to use sloping top tubes in some frames, stopping that in 1999, ironically the year everybody and their brother started putting them on the market. The company stands behind it’s edict of “fit and durability” making products that are meant to last and offer a price point in the middle-of-the-road category. And the Campeon has already opened new doors for them in the cycling world, as pro teams have called the frame into service.
The TDS womens pro team rides the Campeon, and of course the Salsa team itself out of Minnesota also rides them. There is talk of more pro teams, both in the US and abroad straddling them next year, so be on the lookout for this sleek ride to make an even bigger impact next year.
Salsa Scandium Tubeset Specs
– Tire clearance for 700c x 28 tires
– Bottom bracket: 68mm
– 130mm rear spacing
– Integrated headset compatible with Cane Creek IS-6 1-1/8″ headset 41.0mm head tube I.D. (headset not included)
– Seatpost: 31.6mm; Seatpost clamp: 34.9mm
– Front derailluer clamp: 34.9mm
– Includes Salsa Lip-Lock seat collar and Salsa carbon fork with alloy steerer
– The msrp for the frame and fork is $799.00, complete bikes will vary with gruppos, etc.
Visit the Salsa website for more info: www.salsacycles.com